Classic Wood Furniture for AR-15 Rifles From American-Icon

When Eugene Stoner designed the AR-15 for ArmaLite in 1956 it was a pretty revolutionary piece, and its use of plastic stocks was not without controversy. A lot of folks were used to, and wanted, steel and wood on their guns, not plastic.

A lot has changed since the late 50’s, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still people who prefer wood to plastic on their guns. I don’t mind plastic, but I always admired some of the wood stock AR’s that I’d seen, I just didn’t have the right build to do it with. That was until I started working on a Fallout New Vegas (FNV) Service Rifle clone.

I started with a basic build that was inspired by the FNV rifle and gradually swapped out parts until I came up with something that’s pretty darn close. The final touch was a set of wood stocks from American-Icon, a veteran-owned American small business that focuses on wood furniture for the AR platform.

The FNV Service Rifle

I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves what the heck is a FNV Service Rifle? If you’re a gamer, you’re probably familiar with the Fallout game series. It’s a post-apocalyptic setting that’s been around for years on the PC and various game consoles. It has a retro sci-fi feel to it and some pretty iconic imagery.

Fallout New Vegas was one of the games in the series and the Service Rifle was a staple gun in the game. It’s basically an M16A1 that uses a C7 style upper (A1 sights and A2 style brass deflector block) and wood stocks. There are some in-game art details that make it impossible to clone precisely (like a side-mounted charging handle and a dust cover that flips upwards) but if you get a 20-inch pencil barrel with a front sight base, on a C7 upper, and add some wood stocks, you’re getting pretty darn close.

My first efforts used a set of Brownells brown plastic Retro A1 furniture. They gave the general feel of the Service Rifle, but lacked the visual appeal of actual wood. I wasn’t super worried about it at first, but then I picked up a FNV Service Rifle marked lower from Bad Attitude Department.

Once I had a “correct” lower I started tweaking my build and added a chromed bolt carrier group, and polished trigger to get closer to the game gun. I swapped out the old open prong flash hider I had to an A2 flash hider. The A2 still isn’t “right” since the in-game gun has a muzzle device of the artist’s creation, but it’s closer than the open prong I had initially. With all of my other details coming into place I realized I needed to get the stocks right too, and that’s where American-Icon came in.



I first became aware of American-Icon through a post on one of Harrington & Richardson’s social media pages. They showed an A1 rifle with a set of vintage looking walnut stocks and I knew that’s what I needed. They mentioned they would probably be offering them in the future, but no time frame was given.

I had posted pics of my build so far, with the plastic stocks, on one of the retro AR groups and that’s where I met John Petty, of American-Icon. I mentioned that I was waiting for the H&R stocks and it turns out that John was the maker of the stock set that H&R posted. I started following John and American-Icon on various social media sites, and I ended up ordering a set of wood stocks of my own right before Christmas.

American-Icon consists of John and his son Jordan. John is a Marine Corp veteran. He and his son are both Industrial Quality Engineers with over 50 years of combined experience in the aerospace, automotive, and firearms fields. American-Icon is an 01 and 07 FFL, and their focus is on wood AR accessories.


Everything is made in the USA of all US materials. The wood is grown in the US, kiln dried, and hand selected. Maple and Black Walnut are the base woods used, but the American-Icon custom series will also offer fancier wood types like Quilted and Ribbon Maple, Claro, and figured Black Walnut. John said that other woods may be available on request as well. Hand rubbed tung oil is the base finish, and a distressed, darkened finish they call BattleBorn is offered as well.


The furniture is CNC milled and then hand finished and coated. Unlike plastic stocks the wood handguards don’t take an aluminum heatshield. John and Jordan came up with a pretty unique solution though, and they’re the first ones to Cerakote the inside of the handguards.

They use Cerakote C-186 Piston, which is heat resistant up to 1,800 degrees. John told me they may not hold up to sustained fire during, say, an all-out zombie apocalypse, but they should do just fine for a range session or hunting trip.

American-Icon offers an A1 stocks set consisting of the two forend pieces, the grip, and buttstock. They also offer pistol and carbine length handguards, a fixed Entry stock, and a wood N1 CAR style adjustable stock.

All sets include whatever mounting hardware is needed, like the buttplate, two buttplate screws, sling loop and grip screw on an A1 set. When you buy a stock set you have everything you need to install it on your gun. Pistol length handguards are especially tough to find (I had to 3D print a set when I needed some for a build) so having factory ones being available at all is big deal, and wood handguards are especially slick.

While CNC machinery is used, these sets still require a lot of hands-on work to finish them. You’re dealing with low volume, high quality components so prices aren’t exactly like what you may be used to with polymer stocks. When you look at other wood offerings though, you’ll see they’re competitive. Here are some examples of what the sets include and pricing from the time I bought my set:


American-Icon A1 Rifle: Rifle length handguards, Grip with grip screw & washer, fixed Rifle stock with buttplate, 2 screws & sling loop.  $425.00


American-Icon A1 Entry Carbine: Carbine length handguards, Grip with grip screw & washer, fixed Entry stock with buttplate, 2 screws & sling loop. $415.00


American-Icon A1, N1 Carbine: Carbine length handguards, N1 adjustable stock with lever assembly, Grip & grip screw & washer. $455.00

American-Icon A1 Pistol: Pistol length handguards, Grip & grip screw & washer (no stock or brace included). $385.00

The BattleBorn stock finish is an extra $65.00, as that once again is done by hand.


My FNV Stock Set

I ordered a set of American Black Walnut A1 stocks with the BattleBorn finish for my FNV build. They were nicely packaged with each piece being individually wrapped and well padded.

When I started pulling them out of the packing material the first thing I noticed was the look. They look like an aged military rifle should. The finish is matte and the darkening looks like what would happen over years of cleaning and rubbing oil into the wood. With that said, they are obviously new as there are no dings, marks or scratches that you might associate with old military wood stocks. You have to add those on your own if you want them.

The next thing I noticed was the weight. You might think wood stocks would be heavy, but you’d be wrong. They’re actually lighter than an equivalent set of plastic stocks. Mark shows that a set of original A1 military stocks weighs 23.42 ounces and a set of his A1 black walnut wood set weighs only 15.46 ounces. So if you thought adding wood to your AR was going to make it heavy and cumbersome to aim, it’s just the opposite. You actually save a fair bit of weight.

Overall quality and finishing of the wood is excellent and installation was easy. I’ll fight with AR handguards sometimes, especially with the old flat style slip ring, as opposed to the later delta ring.

I was pleasantly surprised that the American-Icon handguards dropped right in with no swearing or malletizing required. The pistol grip uses a longer screw than a hollow plastic grip, but like the rest of the hardware, it’s included.

The buttstock also slipped on without issue. It’s worth noting too that the American-Icon stock maintains the compartment for a cleaning kit. That saves some weight right there, (if you’re not carrying a cleaning kit). The stock uses a standard A2 buttplate with trapdoor. A custom solid buttplate may be offered later for folks who don’t want the trapdoor. I saw pictures of the prototype and it looks good.

The A2 feature brings up my only quibble with the design. First I realized when I had everything assembled that this is actually an A2 length stock, despite having an A1 style grip, A1 style handguards, and being called an A1 kit.  That isn’t a deal-breaker for me, although I do prefer an A1 length stock.

I suggested to John that they make sure to mention this in the specs so that folks aren’t surprised. His polling suggested more folks preferred an A2 length stock. Based upon my totally unscientific study of folks in the various AR forums, I think there’s a stronger A1 length following than he thinks.

For the record, his son Jordan is in Camp A1. John said they have an A1 length stock drawn up that will be offered at a later date. I’ll be in line for one. John told me the A1 stock they have planned will still use an A2 buttplate since they’re readily available, and much more affordable to source than quality A1 buttplates, or their custom version. I’m fine with that.

Stock length aside, the set looks great on my FNV Service Rifle. It really nails the look I was going for and is a darn looking nice set in general. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it from folks who’ve never heard of Fallout and just see it as a good-looking AR. The wood adds a nice classic vibe to a rifle that folks still consider modern, despite being a design that’s creeping up on 70 years old.

The stocks feel solid in the hand and wood always has warmth to it that plastic never will. I didn’t put my rifle on the scale, but in hand it feels a little lighter than my M16A1 clone with GI furniture. It shoulders fast and swings quickly. It would make a great rifle to take out in the field if you’ve got a ground hog or coyote problem.

How to get Them

If you want a set of American-Icon stocks you can follow them on Instagram and Facebook, or go to their webpage. American-Icon doesn’t have online ordering set up yet, but you can shoot them an e-mail to get ordering details.

Harrington & Richardson (now a division of Palmetto State Armory) will soon be carrying them as well. They’re American-Icon’s first OEM customer and they’ll be starting off with 100 sets of black walnut BattleBorn A1 kits and 150 sets in Aberdeen Brown. Keep an eye on the PSA website for that.

You don’t need to be a Fallout fan to appreciate the aesthetics of a good wood stock. Whether you’re just one of those guys who still appreciates wood and steel, you want a rifle that is a little less scary without all that mean black plastic, or you just want something that blends into the outdoors better, then take a look at what American-Icon has to offer. I always like supporting veteran owned, US businesses, and by offering unique, quality products American-Icon make’s that easy to do.

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